Orioles Place Freel On 15-day Disabled List

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

April 22, 2009|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,dan.connolly@baltsun.com

The good news for Orioles utility man Ryan Freel is that he was not diagnosed with another concussion after being hit in the head with an errant pickoff throw Monday.

The bad news is that it still landed him in the hospital for a night and on the disabled list for 15 days.

"It's head trauma, not a concussion or a mild concussion," said Freel, who was placed on the DL on Tuesday, when the Orioles promoted outfielder Lou Montanez from Triple-A Norfolk.

In the third inning of Monday's loss to the Boston Red Sox, Freel was trying to get back to second base when pitcher Justin Masterson's pickoff throw plunked the right side of his head. Freel lay motionless for several moments and eventually was helped off the field.

"I didn't black out. I felt a little dizzy, but I never really lost consciousness," Freel said. "I was coherent the whole time. I feel great."

Freel was held overnight at a Boston hospital and flew back to Baltimore on Tuesday.

"I did have a little goose egg back there," Freel said. "So they were kind of worried about that and especially with my history with the concussions, so I think that had a lot to do with it."

Freel said he has had "three or four" concussions, including one after a horrific collision May 29, 2007, with fellow Cincinnati Reds outfielder Norris Hopper that left him unconscious.

Freel said he wants to start hitting and working out, but the club probably will proceed slowly.

Orioles manager Dave Trembley said doctors estimated Freel could be out 10 days, so it was necessary to put him on the disabled list, especially with center fielder Adam Jones bothered by a tight right hamstring.

Jones was scratched from Tuesday's lineup after the pre-game workout. Montanez, who arrived at Oriole Park about 6 p.m. after driving from Norfolk, was inserted in left field and into Jones' No. 2 spot in the lineup, and Felix Pie was moved to center field.

Montanez batted .429 with three RBIs and three stolen bases in 10 games with the Tides after hitting .340 this spring.

The Orioles selected him for call-up over Nolan Reimold, the International League's Player of the Week last week, because "Montanez played in the big leagues last year. I think he has more experience," Trembley said.

Mora takes field

Third baseman Melvin Mora (strained left hamstring) took grounders and participated in batting practice. He hasn't tried to run full speed but said his leg is improving.

He said he would like to play a couple of games on a rehabilitation assignment in the minor leagues before returning to the Orioles around the end of the month.

"I just want to be able to do something down there, at least one game or two games, and see what happens," Mora said.

O's contact Sarasota

Attorney Alan Rifkin responded to a deadline set by Sarasota officials with a letter late Monday afternoon expressing the Orioles' interest in making the city its spring training home, but only if the city and county improve their offer.

The Orioles want Sarasota to dedicate three-quarters of a penny of its tourism tax to the baseball project, a proposal that the county commission has rejected. Rifkin's letter said the Orioles would keep the "dialogue open." However, the club also is negotiating with Lee County officials to move to a complex in Fort Myers, Fla., that the Boston Red Sox will vacate in 2012.

The Orioles can remain in Fort Lauderdale for 2010 and 2011, but must contact officials by May 1 to extend the lease. The club has not made a decision, a spokesman said.

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